Thursday, November 29, 2007


So, out of curiosity, I looked up the TREC inspector's page again today. They changed the rules again. They made them actually easier. I have sent an email to the TREC people to ask about my situation. But it looks like 1 of 2 things will happen. I will either be eligible to take the test to be a professional inspector without the need of a sponsor with what I have already done or I will have to take 1 8-hour class on report writing and THEN I will be eligible to take the test to be a professional inspector without the need of a sponsor.

So while I will still need to scrape up some money to pay for liability and E&O insurance, I will not have to pay someone in order to work for them. YAY!!


I have hesitated about telling you what’s going on because I have not made a single decision about what my next step will be. GAH! But, this will be as it stands now, with all my rambling thoughts.

Part, the first. In the contract that I was asked to sign to be sponsored, he states that he wants a large sum of money up front. He wants a monthly “maintenance” fee. And he wants a per report stipend for reviewing my work. (He would also pay me an hourly wage to do the reports, so basically, I give him an hour for free for each report.) Plus I have to carry my own Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance. All told, to start working for him, I have to come up with roughly $4000 – I’m not really concerned with the monthly maintenance fee or the per report fee; that money will come with the money he will pay me for the reports I write. It’s the up front fee and the E&O insurance premium. I do not have $4000. Period.

I can probably scrape together enough for the insurance, but I certainly don’t have the up front fee he wants. I do not know if he’ll finance it, but it’s something else to ask him. Although I feel like a doofus when I ask for what I consider to be special favors. “Hey, I know you’re making everyone else do this, but I was thinking maybe you’d let me…not. Or let me do it some other way, which is not what you want, you know, BUHCUZ I’M SPESHUL.” Needless to say, I’m not a special conditions asking type person.

Part, the second. He also has a non-compete clause. Which, if I were to work on windstorm inspections with my dad, I’m not sure if that falls in the same category as competing, but it’s not something I’m willing to give up. So that’s another thing to ask him.

Part, the third. In a 2 hour “interview,” he said both “I’m 78 years old and I’m looking to retire, so what I think would be ideal is that if I can train you, I will then eventually be able to hand the keys over to you and the business will be yours.” And not 10 minutes later he said “My house sits on 5 lots, a few of which back up to [This busy road right out front of where his office is now]. What I’d like to do is build a house on one lot and sell it, and then build an office for the business on another lot.” So is he reitiring “soon”? Or not? Knowing what I know about him (based on the 3 classes I’ve taken from him) I’d bet money that he’ll die before he retires.

Part, the fourth. Also in the contract, he wants me to join a couple organizations. Which have membership fees, so that’s even more money. Although it’s somewhat delayed, because I would start as an apprentice and am not required to join the organizations until I’m at the second tier.

So here’s where I need to decide where to go from here. I am still waiting on my PE results – historically we’re looking at late December, or early January. I do not have high hopes for that, mostly because I was so sick before the test, and I know I did not do the best I possibly could have if I hadn’t been queasy the entire day. So…to do: wait.

There’s a guy here at work that is also eligible to sponsor people as inspectors. Last time I spoke to him I felt like he didn’t really want to sponsor people (which I can understand, it’s a liability) and was also discussing the possibility that due to the new rules where an inspector has to carry E&O insurance, and being that it’s so expensive and this is not his day job, that he was considering doing inspections as a PE instead of as a TREC inspector. I need to set up a time to talk to him anyway, whether he’ll sponsor me or not. I want his opinion on whether this whole large sum of money up front for sponsorship business is a normal thing. So…to do: get second opinion.

I do have questions for the first sponsor guy, but before I ask them, I want the second opinion, so I’m tabling that.

My other option is to complete the 300 hours I have remaining. But, because they changed the rules so drastically, almost no one can become an inspector without a sponsor, and almost no one is willing to sponsor people. So no one is taking those classes, and they aren’t making, per the conversation with the possible sponsor who teaches said classes. There are other options out there, take home courses and such. I will have to repeat some of the hours, but it’s actually cheaper than the sponsorship with this guy. But then I also lose out on the field experience. This is a harder decision to make than it seems. It’s cheaper, yes. But, the hands on experience may well be worth the extra money. Also that I might inherit a business out of the deal thing could be a huge bonus. This is also a tabled decision until I talk to the other inspector.

A large part of me is just of the opinion that I wait to get my PE. When I do, I can do the windstorm inspections with my dad. And maybe I can do some of the other work he’s been turning away, because he doesn’t have time for it. Maybe that will work out to a way for me to work from home. Because, honestly? That’s the ultimate prize. That’s what all this crap has been about.

I’m ending this now, because my brain has melted from all the pontificating.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Place Holder

I'm just checking in to say we're all fine. I am swamped at work, and have no time for a real post.

But also, I didn't want to forget about what we learned yesterday.

Car washes - the kind you drive through - are scary.

Also, although you would like to offer your 4 month old cousin a part of your meatball or the crust from your pizza, no one seems to think she should have it.

Also, no one else thinks it's a good idea to lick the table.

Oh, and leaning your head in towards your cousin to give her a faux hug - makes everyone go "awwwwww."

Monday, November 26, 2007


The weekend was good. Cold and wet, but good. We did cut our trip slightly short due to the weather, but that allowed us to recover at home for a full day.

I may actually achieve my goal of being done with Christmas shopping before December 1st. No, seriously. We have 2 more people to buy for.

And one day, we're going to have weather good enough to take pictures for Christmas cards...I hope. Because so far, I've got a lot of pictures, but none I want to plaster on a Christmas card. And send out to everyone I know.

We took Landon on a drive through one of those parks with all the Christmas lights. We were a little scared he'd react like he did to the horse, the turkey, and the dancing snowman. But he loved it. "Www-oooo-www." And I thought he'd be less impressed with the tree at home. But he wasn't, that's "wwwwwooowww" too. Although somewhere within the weekend he got the idea that presents are for opening. Right now! Who cares if it's for your cousin Zoey or Aunt Kath-o-leen, it's a present, let's open it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Almost Wordless Wednesday


This is what happens when you refuse to lay still while your mom tries to put your pants on. Once she finally gives up.

*There's another cartoon character that looks like this, I can not for the life of me remember what they're called.

Other Wordless Wednesday Posts on other blogs are here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


We had our annual Thanksgiving luncheon at work today.

As usual - very good BBQ.

Landon liked the big flags hanging from the rafters in the arena. He liked the roll and the mashed potatoes. He liked the guy dressed like a pilgrim. Well, I guess technically he liked his hat.

Landon did NOT like the person dressed like a turkey. Which, I guess we should have predicted, since he does not like large stuffed animals, and he does not like it when you "make the animal talk." We had a heck of a time walking past a 3 ft tall stuffed horse that was neighing in Target the other day. Serious mental trauma. Anyway, larger than life talking turkey? DO. NOT. WANT. Thusly? No pictures.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Not Yet

So, my meeting with my sponsor went...uh...went...interesting...I guess. I'm still not ready to talk about it.

I'm going to need some more time to process it. There are things in the contract I was asked to sign, that I'm not sure 1) I can do and 2) I want to do and 3) are necessary to accomplish my goal.

I have at least 2 more people I need to talk to. If nothing else, I need to talk to another possible sponsor, what kind of idiot would I be to agree to do something on this guy's terms, if I haven't even seen if those are "normal" terms for the situation. The other thing is that one of the clauses concerns me, so I need to talk to someone about that, but I don't want to go into that right now either.

We are 85% complete* with Christmas shopping. And we finally bought Landon the crane that goes on the back of his truck with his birthday money. He didn't think it should be attached at first, but decided it was ok. I also discovered last night that it can also be used as a tow truck (of which I have no pictures). That crane is awesome.

But use it with caution, and as always do not use heavy machinery while under the influence.

* this number is an estimation, no actual numbers were crunched.

Friday, November 16, 2007


This is what happens when you try to take good pictures of a one year old and think he'll need a distraction to stay in the area. Apparently goggles are not the best option.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


These are videos I took when I found the settings on our camera that allow us to take better videos. They're not profound. They're not exciting really. It's just Landon wandering around the kitchen playing with a flashing duck, drinking out of his new sippy cup.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007


  • I took 10,000 pictures this weekend and have none with me, because I emptied my camera onto the laptop.

  • Landon has a spot of ringworm. It’s healing now that I’m administering Lotrimin that did not expire in January of 2006.

  • I was asked what toys are safe for buying. And I found a few resources. There’s this one and this one. Toys R Us has a list you can get from the service desk (here it is online) but it’s not user friendly – it doesn’t have pictures and you can’t just order stuff directly from it. So the deal is that, while there are resources out there, they suck – but beware if you complain too much, they will make you design the next website or list.

  • I’m meeting with my potential sponsor on Friday. He’s very excited about me, he’s optimistic about my potential and my goals, including the one where I want to work part time and still make enough money.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Christmas Shopping will be fun this year

Hey, guess what? Another recall? But, even better than developmental delays caused by lead paint. This one actually poses a risk of coma! And death! (It's Aquadots, FYI in case you didn't click that link.)

So as you look down the aisles at Target and watch, people now pick up toys and the first thing they look for is whether it's made in China. Then they look for how much of said toy is painted. Wanna know a secret? 99.9% of toys are made in China and painted.

You can hear the murmurs of parents asking about whittling lessons as they huddle scared in the corners of the stores. We may be returning to a time when children were given fruit instead of toys at Christmas.

I for one, say - don't be afraid. Proceed to your kitchen section and purchase a spatula, or a spoon, or a big plastic bowl, or a colander. Bamboo trivets, pot holders, 16 oz plastic cups, and cookie tins. All of which are inherently more fun than expensive toys...apparently.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday: A week of menus

Works for Me Wednesday

I have nothing, so I signed up on this week’s “Works for Me Wednesday.” This weeks assignment is to have my readers comment on helpful tips they have that work for them. Which doesn’t really seem fair for you guys, since I haven’t given you my tips yet. So I’ll do mine and if you feel the need to give me a tip, leave a comment.

Weekly Menus.

Every Sunday, my husband and I sit down and plan the weekly menu. We start by deciding what the week’s plans are, do I have Girl Scouts, do I have Girls’ Night Out, do we have weekend plans, etc.

Then we decide on meals for the nights when we will both be around. I try to plan meals that require hot dogs buns or hamburger buns or salad towards the beginning of the week, so I don’t have to go back to the store to replace things. (Sadly, this example does not follow that rule, so let’s suspend belief for a minute and pretend that salad won’t wilt and bread won’t mold)

Then we decide on side dishes. I try to add vegetables, Clint tries to avoid them. I generally secretly add vegetables that just show up without being on the menu. (I am so busted now, but whatever, I’m still going to do it)

Then we make a shopping list based on what we need and what we have already.

Then we go shopping, hopefully with the list in hand.

Inevitably one or two of the meals gets vetoed – either one or both of us doesn’t get home in time to be making a meal, we just kick it to the next week, so we don’t have to buy groceries for it again.

Anyway – this saves us money cause we have a list at the grocery store, and also the nightly “what’s for dinner?” “I dunno, what do you want?” “I dunno, what do you want?” “I dunno, what do you want?” “I dunno, what do you want?”

So, if you have any tips, leave ‘em in the comments.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Change it Back!!!!

I hate driving home from work in the dark. HATE. IT.

People turn stupid when the sun goes down. And even though now my morning commute is in daylight, there are less people on the road, and therefore less stupid people - that's the one I prefer to do in the dark.

Landon is also having some problems adjusting to the time change. It's almost enough to make me want to move to Phoenix.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Monthly Newsletter #13

Dear Landon,

This has been a huge month for you. So many achievements, I’m not sure I’ll be able to adequately describe them all.

You had your first Birthday party. You steadfastly refused to nap that day, and when you did finally go down, it was 20 minutes before people started showing up for your party. Despite your lack of nap you were quite the ham at the party.

You kind of got the opening presents, but not really. It will be interesting to see if you remember at Christmas how to do it.

You have now gotten to the point that you prefer walking to crawling. And since we’re spending more time outside, that’s really a good thing. You still like to be carried and picked up, but left to your own devises, you’re going to walk, instead of crawl.

You started saying some more things. We think we know what you’re saying, but who really knows? We’ve got “Dat?” And you point at something. We tell you what it is, and you say “dat?” again. We’ve also heard “wook.” So we look at whatever you’re pointing at and tell you what it is.

You are a hugger. You hug everyone you see. You hug dogs as much as they will let you. You try to hug strange little girls. They haven’t let you so far, but I’m sure one day you’ll find one who likes hugging as much as you do. We’re trying to soak up all the hugs we can get now, because we don’t know how long this phase will last. And unlike some of your other phases, I’m not constantly repeating to myself “This is only a phase, this is only a phase.”

You scared your father and me to death this month. For the first time ever you were so sick, you were not yourself. You were lethargic, and you just let me hold you. Thank goodness for the after hours answering service at your doctor’s office. When the on-call doctor didn’t return your call, they called back and put us in touch with a nurse at a major hospital. That nurse walked me through exactly what was going to make you better. And it totally worked, and if I had one piece of advice for my future self, it’s that you cannot wash your hands enough.

Your second Halloween was way more exciting than the first one. Despite my own incompetence at getting the correct Halloween costume – you should have been a monkey, and I have no idea if you’ll allow me to turn you into a monkey next year or if I’m going to have to let you be whatever crazy thing you’re into. You loved answering the door, and people gushed over you. You tolerated the costume – and probably would have liked it better if it had been a little cooler. You tried to go with the people a few times, because clearly they had the better end of this deal. I mean, give away candy verses getting candy? What are you? Some kind of moron? We ran out of candy just before your bedtime, and slightly after a small meltdown – which I think was more about being hot in your bearsuit. So the timing worked out perfectly.



He was a teddy bear.

He refused to wear the hat, so he looked more like a very furry little man with a bow tie and round feet.

We lined up the pumpkins.

Lit the lanterns.

And waited.

And waited.

Next year is going to be much better. He had no idea what was going on until the first little girl came to the door. We had a lot of Dorothys (Wizard of Oz) which I thought was kind of odd. But every time someone came to the door, I took him with me. He stood at the door while I handed out candy. And when they walked off, he watched them leave. He watched intently until they were totally out of sight. The first few times he though he might get to go with him. I think he's going to like Trick Or Treating next year.